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Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Estate Bottled 2009

Winemaker's Notes:

2009 Far Niente Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Bottled Napa Valley 750ml

Far Niente Winery:
Far Niente was founded in 1885 by John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. Benson hired architect Hamden McIntyre, creator of the former Christian Brothers winery – now the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – to design the building. Constructed against a hillside in western Oakville, Far Niente functio... Read more
Far Niente was founded in 1885 by John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. Benson hired architect Hamden McIntyre, creator of the former Christian Brothers winery – now the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – to design the building. Constructed against a hillside in western Oakville, Far Niente functioned as a gravity flow winery, gently moving the grapes through each stage of production. Far Niente prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919, when it was abandoned and left to fall into disrepair. Sixty years later, in 1979, Gil Nickel purchased the winery and adjacent vineyard and began a three-year restoration of the property. During restoration, the original name, Far Niente, from an Italian phrase that romantically translated means "without a care," was found carved in stone on the front of the building where it remains to this day. We felt an obligation to preserve the name with the hope that we could recapture a bygone era when life was indeed without a care. Nineteen eighty-two marked the return of winemaking to Far Niente, with the harvest of the winery’s first Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay was also produced at the winery for the first time that year; the 1979, ’80 and ’81 vintage wines were made at an offsite location. Today, the winery continues to focus on producing only the two varietal wines. California’s Oldest Bottle of Wine Far Niente’s past and present were reunited in 1998, when a bottle of Far Niente Sweet Muscat, vintage 1886, was discovered in a private cellar in Marin County, CA. The bottle exhibits the original label, cork and capsule, and is believed to be the oldest intact bottle of California wine in existence today. The label, featuring a sepia-tone line drawing of a hammock laden with grape clusters, is thought to have been designed by Benson’s nephew, artist Winslow Homer. Historians of the artist liken the style of the hammock on the label to the same technique employed in Homer’s other works. Eric Rudd, a historian and expert on Homer, has explained that while Homer created very little commercial art, he was known to have supplied his work to friends and relations for commercial use, including his cousin, Virginia Johnson. This was the same Virginia Johnson who inherited Far Niente in the early 1900s, from her uncle, John Benson. Today, Far Niente wines carry an intricate art nouveau-style parchment label, which was designed by artist Tom Rodrigues in 1979. Rodrigues also designed the labels for Far Niente’s sister wineries Dolce, producer of a late harvest wine, and Nickel & Nickel, a new winery devoted exclusively to producing small-lot, single vineyard wines. When John Benson built Far Niente in 1885, it was evident by the stone archway in the west wall of the cellar that wine caves were to be chiseled into the solid rock. Unfortunately, as a result of Mr. Benson's death and the forced closure brought on by Prohibition, these caves never materialized. It was in 1980, one year after Far Niente was purchased by Gil Nickel, that Alf Burtleson was hired by Gil to dig a small 60-foot wine cave in the hill behind the winery. Little did the two men know at the time, that the Far Niente wine caves would become the first to be constructed in North America since the turn of the century, spawning a new industry in California wine country. Almost ten years after the first excavation and accompanied by Alf's expertise, Gil undertook the adventurous project of expanding the wine caves to 15,060 square feet. At the time, Alf and his four-man crew utilized a 22-foot long electric and hydraulic drill used in England for digging coal mines, and completed the shotcrete-lined caves in 1991. A second phase, adjoining an additional 13,000 square feet were added in 1995, and a third phase, bringing the total cave area to 40,000 square feet, was completed in 2001. “Caves have qualities beneficial to wine aging that are impossible to capture in an above-ground building,” says Dirk Hampson, director of winemaking at Far Niente. Much attention and concern have been devoted to the aesthetics in the integral design of the caves, which consist of recessed lighting, back-lit niches, a large octagonal wine library, and a number of 45-degree tunnels. In addition to the wonders of aging wine in beautiful surroundings, much can be attributed to the practical benefits of storing and aging wine underground. A constant temperature of 58-60 degrees Fahrenheit, accompanied by natural humidity, contribute to low evaporation in a consistent environment. Far Niente's caves currently house approximately 2,500 French oak barrels. Read less

External Reviews for Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Estate Bottled

External Review
Source: Great Wines Direct
10/16/2012

Notes of dense, black fruit, anise and blackberries appear up front followed by hints of fruit jam and dark chocolate. Far Niente, one of the earliest stone wineries, derives its name from the Italian phrase, Dolce Far Niente (how sweet it is to do nothing), was founded in 1885 by John Benson and flourished until the advent of prohibition. Far Nientes quest to produce outstanding wines of distinctive character has led them to a philosophy that requires vineyard ownership. Today, they own 200 acres (3 different vineyard sites) of what many regard as some of the finest vineyard land in the Napa Valley, USA. Their Stelling Vineyard of 100 acres, is located against the west hills of Oakville, contiguous to the winery, on some of the most beautiful gravelly loam soil in the Napa Valley Surrounded by Marthas Vineyard and Mondavi Reserve, the soils are responsible for Napa Valleys most beautiful and age-worthy wines. Grapes: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot Region : USA / California / Napa Valley Maker : Greg Allen Notes: Notes of dense, black fruit, anise and blackberries appear up front followed by hints of fruit jam and dark chocolate. In the mouth, this red wine unfolds in layers, beginning with a round and supple entry, and progressing to a full, weighty structure on the palate. The silky tannins are textured and coating, producing a wine that is smooth from start to finish. Serve : Full flavoured stews, red meats and rich cheeses ABV : 14.5%


External Review
Source: Great Wines Direct
11/27/2015

Elegant blackcurrant fruit with balanced oak and a long and lingering finishFar Niente, one of the earliest stone wineries, derives its name from the Italian phrase, Dolce Far Niente (how sweet it is to do nothing), was founded in 1885 by John Benson and flourished until the advent of prohibition.Far Nientes quest to produce outstanding wines of distinctive character has led them to a philosophy that requires vineyard ownership. Today, they own 200 acres (3 different vineyard sites) of what many regard as some of the finest vineyard land in the Napa Valley, USA.Their Stelling Vineyard of 100 acres, is located against the west hills of Oakville, contiguous to the winery, on some of the most beautiful gravelly loam soil in the Napa ValleySurrounded by Marthas Vineyard and Mondavi Reserve, the soils are responsible for Napa Valleys most beautiful and age-worthy wines.Grapes: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit VerdotRegion: USA / California / Martin Stelling VineyardMaker: Nicole MarchesiNotes: Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon opens with boysenberry aromas combined with rich, toasted oak and a hint of espresso. The entry is layered and juicy with a velvety mid-palate. Round, coating tannins and cherry fruit lead to a lingering and youthful finish.Serve: At 16-18c it is Ideal with fillet steak or hearty beef stew.ABV: 14.5%Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans


External Review
Source: NapaCabs.com
07/06/2011

The perfect gift set for the wine connoisseur that has everything. This set includes one bottle of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon and 1 set of 2 Reidel Vinum Extreme Cabernet Glasses.


External Review
Source: Great Wines Direct
11/08/2010

Far Niente, one of the earliest stone wineries, derives its name from the Italian phrase Dolce Far Niente (how sweet it is to do nothing), was founded in 1885 by John Benson and flourished until the advent of prohibition. Today, they own 200 acres (3 different vineyard sites) of what many regard as some of the finest vineyard land in the Napa Valley. Their Stelling Vineyard of 100 acres is located against the west hills of Oakville, contiguous to the winery, on some of the most beautiful gravelly loam soil in the Napa Valley Surrounded by Marthas Vineyard and Mondavi Reserve, the soils are responsible for Napa Valleys most beautiful and age-worthy Cabernets. Vintage: 2006 Grapes: Mostly estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon (91%) with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot (4%) Vinification: The hand harvested grapes were mostly from the Stelling Vineyard. The later than usual harvest of allowed the grapes ample time to slowly develop and ripen flavours. Fermentation seemed to mirror harvest, in that the wine took its time to develop. As a result, our winemaker allowed the wine to go through an extended period of maceration to pick up the depth of rich, fruit character called for in our Cabernet house style. Overall, the wine sat on the skins almost twice as long as the year before. also yielded a larger quantity of Far Niente Cabernet, since more of our replanted vineyards in Oakville finally came into production. The wine was aged in French oak for 17 months (69% new, 31% once-used). Notes: Notes of dense, black fruit, anise and blackberries appear up front followed by hints of fruit jam and dark chocolate. In the mouth, this wine unfolds in layers, beginning with a round and supple entry, and progressing to a full, weighty structure on the palate. The silky tannins are textured and coating, producing a wine that is smooth from start to finish.



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